Join our Postgraduate Open Day - Saturday 22 June

Register now

Prescribing: Scientific Principles and Safe Practice

Course Type
Postgraduate, Module

The 20 credit module is taught at M level as a multi-professional course.  It addresses the underpinning theoretical principles of prescribing practice and highlights mechanisms and pathways necessary to refine and optimise the prescribing process at patient, local practice and national levels.

This module is designed to: 

  • be paired with a companion module (Prescribing: Safe Effective Practice, 20 credits) as part of the Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing.  The pairing is designed to meet the requirements for an accredited programme for independent non-medical prescriber status (according to each relevant professional body, General Pharmaceutical Council, Nursing & Midwifery Council).   
  • be used as a self-standing CPD module to provide extended knowledge and understanding of the medical prescribing process (to service existing prescribers wishing to develop their knowledge base or those who do not necessarily prescribe but are involved with a medicines management process).

You will:

  • extend your existing knowledge base and professional practice through a critical appreciation of the influences on and psychology associated with the prescribing process, in order to deliver patient-focused, best-practice approaches to prescribing. 
  • be able to critically assess the complex contexts in which the prescribing process is conducted and respond dynamically with appropriate prescribing actions. 
  • build a critical knowledge base of the principles of evidence-based practice and clinical governance for complex, multi-factorial prescribing scenarios. 

Module Outcomes
By the end of the module you should be able to demonstrate: 

Knowledge and Understanding

  • a comprehensive understanding of the pathophysiology and it’s practical application to the conditions being treated and recognise the signs and symptoms of a range of illnesses. 
  • a systematic understanding of the relevance, mechanisms and impact of public health issues on prescribing and the effects of prescribing practice on public health outcomes. 
  • a practical understanding of the legal, ethical and professional framework for accountability and responsibility in relation to prescribing. 
  • a critical understanding and application of clinical governance frameworks including audit of prescribing practice and personal development. 

Intellectual Skills 

  • a systematic understanding of pharmacology, numeracy and clinical skills to formulate treatment plans, devise checking processes to ensure patient safety and  monitor responses to therapy. 
  • the ability to critically appraise sources of information and decision support for prescribing. 
  • a critical understanding of the accountability and responsibility that prescribing entails. 
  • critical awareness of the influences on individual, local and national prescribing practice. 
  • sound judgment using critical understanding of factors determining legal, appropriate, safe and cost-effective prescribing. 

Transferable Skills 

  • Demonstrate critical awareness of personal limitations in the context of professional competence. 
  • Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the complex issues that impact on effective prescribing in a partnership leading to optimal therapeutic outcomes for patients.

Module dates
Module dates to be confirmed shortly

Assessment day - (university attendance required)

This multi-professional blended learning course takes place over 3 months and comprises of 3 days attendance for course learning with a further ½ day attendance to complete course assessment. Attendance at the University for these dates is mandatory and will need to be repeated if missed.   Further learning is provided through online activities and independent learning. 

Method of teaching

During attendance at the University you will undertake key lectures, small group work, workshops and enquiry based learning.  

The virtual learning environment CANVAS will support directed and independent learning.  You will use the web-based SCRIPT e-learning programme.  This comprises of 44 modules designed to improve prescribing competency and is developed in partnership with Health Education England – West Midlands and OCB media.  SCRIPT offers a range of modules including Fundamentals of Pharmacology, Dosing and Calculations and modules related to specific therapeutic areas. 

You will prepare for and reflect upon the key learning within the University and undertake the full range of portfolio activity to evidence your achievement of learning outcomes and prescribing competencies (for Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing).


  • Structured learning and reflective portfolio
  • Virtual scenario-based assessment
  • Group presentations of set prescribing scenarios
  • Calculations Examination (must pass at 100%)

Academics involved in the delivery of this module

  • Mrs Parbir Jagpal – Programme Director, Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing 
  • Mrs Pat Hibberd – Leader Independent/Supplementary for Nurses and Midwives 
  • Christine Hirsch – Deputy Programme Director 
  • Professor John Marriott – Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Head of School of Pharmacy 
  • Kaldeep Singh – Academic Practitioner 
  • Dr Asma Yahyouche – Academic Practitioner  
  • Sarah Pontefract – (Thomas) NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow SCRIPT Editorial Lead